Try the drill before broadcast seeding

May 11, 2011 - Issue 7

Growers in Manitoba and eastern Saskatchewan may not get seeding for 10 days or more. Some may take desperate measures to get canola seeded in less than ideal field conditions. Given the importance of good seed bed for canola, it may be worth waiting an extra day or two for fields to dry out some more instead of rushing to seed canola into or onto mud. Growers have only one chance to seed canola properly.

Before jumping to the broadcast option, try the drill first to assess the seed placement situation. It may work, but consider the following:

—In very moist or muddy soil conditions, lighten up packing pressure. Too much pressure creates a sheen of packed mud over the seed row, which becomes like cement as soils dry out.

—Watch openers for plugging. A drill with many openers plugged with mud will create a terrible (and likely unprofitable) stand. Slow down and seed really shallow to make sure openers don’t plug.

—Tractor ruts do not make a good seedbed. If the tractor is leaving ruts, this is a good sign to delay seeding for a few days.

    If growers decide on broadcast seeding, know the risks. Agronomics and economics must both be part of the decision. Click here for broadcast seeding tips and risks.

    Canola Watch